Hot & smoky mac n cheese

  • Preparation Time 20 Minutes
  • Cooking Time 15-20 Minutes
  • Serves 4

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free

Macaroni cheese has always been one of my most favoured comfort foods, although my earliest memory was not the most pleasant. As a child, this wonderful dish came from a tin by Heinz. I can still remember the cloying texture and artificial flavour. Other than that is was the dish of American tv shows.

Now, mac n cheese is a favourite family dish and is widely available in cafes and restaurants. It was a favourite of my boys and was always handmade.

Since I became vegan I have been playing around with different sauces for this lovely meal. I love Cajun smoky flavours so I thought I would incorporate those in this Macaroni and cheese.

I am pleased with the results, it was

  • Smoky
  • Flavourful
  • Rich
  • Tasty
  • Delicious
  • Satisfying
  • Cheesy

Everything a good mac n cheese should be. I hope you like this variation as much as I do. It is one of my firm favourite indulgent vegan meals. Great with a salad, garlic bread or just as it comes.


  • Preparation Time 20 Minutes
  • Cooking Time 15-20 Minutes
  • Serves 4

  • 360g dry gluten-free macaroni pasta
  • 1.5 tbsp of dairy-free butter
  • 1 small white red finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1/2 red chilli finely chopped ( more if you want it spicier)
  • 1.5 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp chipotle or any hot sauce such as Frank’s ( more if you want it extra hot)
  • 1.5 tbsp gluten-free plain flour
  • 350 ml plant-based milk
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 3/4 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 large of a few small tomatoes thinly sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50 g of vegan mozzarella
  • 100 g of strong vegan cheese
  • 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan
  • A tap of fresh thyme leaves


  1. If you are not coeliac or have a gluten allergy then just use the normal wheat pasta.
  2. Make this as hot as you like. I have even added some diced chillies to the onions when they are cooking.
  3. It is up to you which vegan cheeses you use. There are now so many lovely cheeses available now in every supermarket. I used vegan gouda by Green Vie and homemade vegan mozzarella.


Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 5, 375F

1. Place a large pan of salted water on a high heat, once boiling add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent the pasta from sticking together and set to one side.

2. In the same saucepan (I am all for saving on the washing up). Melt the dairy-free butter before adding the onions and chilli if using and cook for 10 minutes to soften them, add the crushed garlic and cook for another few minutes. Add the smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme and mix in for a few minutes.

3. Next, add the flour and mix in, you need to cook that for a few minutes so the flour gets cooked. Using a balloon whisk, add the milk a little at a time while stirring continuously, this prevents a lumpy sauce. Slowly bring to the boil and allow to thicken and add the nutritional yeast. Turn the heat down low and cook for a further few minutes.

4. Now, add the vegan cream, the hot sauce, tomato ketchup, seasoning and mustard. Season and then taste to see if it needs any more chipotle sauce or seasoning. Once off the heat, stir in your vegan cheddar.

5. Add the pasta into the pan with the sauce and stir until all the pasta is coated and then pour into an ovenproof dish. Top with some thinly sliced tomatoes and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top.

6. Place in the oven and cook for around 15-20 minutes until it begins to crisp up or alternately place under a hot grill for 5 minutes.

7. Serve straight away with a mixed salad and some crisp green vegetables.

If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page I love seeing your versions of the recipes and love to hear your comments too.

2 thoughts on “Hot & smoky mac n cheese

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  1. I usually drizzle my mac n cheese with hot sauce anyway, because I like the spicy. But yours looks really yummy, especially with the melty cheese, mmm!

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